Archive for May, 2009

Madurai animation request

In my work (which involves some animation) I occasionally receive emails from people overseas, this time from Madurai in southern India. This one confused me somewhat. Not sure if it’s for something there or here. And the trust for “children” could be good or bad.

Dear sir, Greetings to you.
I am organising an animation event viz-Madurayil Animation on July 25th 2009.
I am a regular visitor of our site&developed skills in Animation.
Understanding your role&service in this sector I humbly seek your Guidance&co-operation.

I informed Toonboom&Autodesk also.
Pl help me to make this event more meaningfull.
i run a trust for “Children”.Pl mail me your valid opinions.
Regds G.k.Agri.

Which made me look up Madurayi. It’s a temple city with a 2,500 year history. And a digital city guide.

Clcik for a (different) closer look

Click for a (different) closer look

It also made me look up Toonboom, software I wasn’t previously familiar with.  It’s used by some major studios – Disney, Warner Bros and also on tv series like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Spongebob Squarepants and many others. See a glowing video review by Roger of Toonboom using Toonboom.

Toonboom video review

Toonboom video review by Roger

He’s keen, I’ll give him that.


Target 168 – Eurovision

The most marvellous Sticky Institute have been cracking the whip with their latest effort to get local (and international) zine makers to pump out more fine quality zine-like publications. The Target 168 initiative moves on slightly from the previous Target 144 series,which had no theme, but did have a water saving link.

Participants in Target 168 had 168 hours to create a zine based on country participating in the Eurovision Song Contest and the New Reality got  – Estonia!

Estonia as it was in 1935

Estonia as it was in 1935

Now we wait to reap the whirlwind of the 38 (depending on some slackness) other zine makers who all contribute 38 copies of their zine, one of which goes to each participant. They were all going to be mailed out this morning, but there is a slight delay. From Sticky this morning:

A few things are slowing us down at target 168 HQ. They include a sea battle in Iquique in 1879. Yes, there is a remembrance day in Chile for
Correo Cerrado and that is holding up our international post of a zine due to come through.

Not everyday that happens. But the delay simply serves to heighten the anticipation – I’m looking forward to Adam Ford’s effort with the Ukraine.

If you weren’t part of target 168, then it’s a little late now to do anything other than lament your fate and rush down to Sticky to pick up your copy. Well, you will be able to on Wednesday after I make a few more copies and take some down to Sticky. If you’re lucky there may be some other countries on offer.

And what you will get is this – from the introduction to Web: 47…

The Sticky Institute have once again journeyed into the realm of the temporal anomaly by allowing 168 hours for the production of a publication, this time based thematically on a competition revolving around geographical location and directed oscillations in atmospheric amplitude and pressure. The concept of ESTONIA was randomly directed towards the New Reality, and has subsequently been expanded upon in this humble tome. The forces that arise from such competition are suited to the forum of Web:, as they harken to the dark northern moonless nights and shadow realms that lie beyond the birch forest.

All Hail the New Reality

Estonian alternat reality travellers

Estonian alternate reality travellers

Also getting a mention in this issue are C’thulhu, the 2005 cyber war with Russia and the KLF.

Operation sock monkey

What’s not to like about this?

Sock monkey

Sock monkey medicine

From the Operation sock monkey web site:
“Operation Sock Monkey is an initiative in support of Clowns Without Borders South Africa (CWBSA) providing laughter, hope and healing to communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Handmade Sock Monkeys can be purchased for you or someone you love or sponsored to be sent to children in need of a smile. All proceeds donated to CWBSA.”

[thanks Carolyn]

Buried nine feet deep in horse manure

The sky appears to have been falling since Julius Caesar ruled Rome.

From Horse Power to Horsepower (PDF 799 kB), by Eric Morris

“The situation seemed dire. In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. One New York prognosticator of the 1890s concluded that by 1930 the horse droppings would rise to Manhattan’s third-story windows. A public health and sanitation crisis of almost unimaginable dimensions loomed.”

“…The horse pollution problem was not a new one. Julius Caesar banned horse-drawn carts from ancient Rome between dawn and dusk in an effort to curb gridlock, noise, accidents, and other unpleasant byproducts of the urban equine.”

Published twice yearly, ACCESS is the official magazine of the University of California Transportation Center. That article is from 2007, but history doesn’t change. Much.

Issue 30 also has a good article about how much traffic is actually made up of cars looking for parking – in Sydney around 30%, average time spent looking 8 minutes.

Google map font

While listening to RRR this morning I heard an interview with Melbourne designer Rhett Dashwood.

He’s been playing with Google Maps to create a font based on geographical features.

It's definitely a 'personality' font

It's definitely a 'personality' font

But what I really like is that he’s limited himself to just the state of Victoria. AND that he didn’t rotate any of the images.  Which is very OuLiPo of him, for which his endeavour should be applauded.

[An arbitrary] Eight things you didn’t know about the internet

Is there only one internet? How big is the internet? Who controls it? If it was lost in a forest, would it make a sound, or would it rely on Google maps and end up walking for days down an old dried up river bed until one final dusk, exhausted and staggering it came across a spooky farmhouse with a single light bulb burning on the porch?

And my favourite –Could the web become self-aware?

Comic chat

In the early days of online chat (1996) Microsoft actually had taste for a moment and got Jim Woodring to design the characters and backgrounds to a product called Comic Chat (same as this post! Amazing!) .

I'm glad they did it, but it would have been a fun meeting at Microsoft

I'm glad they did it, but it would have been a fun meeting at Microsoft

Comic chat was used as the basis for a web comic called jERKCITY. It’s stupid and offensive and funny.

"Slurping and drooling and hurrrrr."

"Slurping and drooling and hurrrrr."

Check out the jERKCITY wikipedia entry! It also gets an entry in Encyclopaedia of stupid, which probably makes more sense.

And it has a cool and kind of offensive video. More than one, but I only watched this one. It reminded me of the time TISM programmed Rage and played the theme to the 7:30 report.

And they have a twitter account. That’s why I like twitter. No other reason.

Which is why MS Comic Chat was created. The end.

And so on and so forth